International Buyers Have High Hopes for Mel Gibson's 'Hacksaw Ridge'

Mark Rogers/Summit Entertainment
'Hacksaw Ridge'

Andrew Garfield stars in the war drama, which is selling well worldwide: "The industry desperately needs another big hit to spread some money around."

With several big-budget misfires in the independent space this year (remember Gods of Egypt? Divergent?), international distributors are looking to the release of Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge, which bows in the U.S. this weekend, with a mixture of hope and trepidation.

"I think it has a lot of eyes on it," said Stuart Ford, CEO of IM Global, which co-produced Hacksaw Ridge and is selling it worldwide. "The industry desperately needs another big hit to spread some money around. And this kind of movie — a big action film, with great reviews — has all the elements that should mean it works in the U.S., but especially internationally."

Andrew Garfield stars in the pic as U.S. Army corporal and combat medic Desmond T. Doss, the only conscientious objector to be awarded the Medal of Honor. He stayed behind and saved more than 75 lives during the Battle of Okinawa in World War II.

The film, which Lionsgate is releasing domestically, is projected to open in the $12 million to $15 million range from 2,800-plus locations.

Given that the drama only cost about $40 million, that sort of bow might be enough to satisfy international buyers.

"It’s a strong and intense movie about a man who stayed true to himself and did something incredible,” said Jasna Vavra, whose Universum Film has Hacksaw Ridge for Germany. "We’re sure it will be very successful."